World News – GB – Southwark’s LEN: Community response to new traffic measures is more complicated than just ‘for’ or ‘against’ – Southwark News


Petitions and counter-petitions have been set up calling for the system to be maintained or terminated

A series of petitions and counter-petitions for Southwark’s ‘low emission neighborhoods’ have been launched by residents as it continues to be one of the most debated issues in the borough

As this document widely reported, wholesale road changes – underway for years as «  healthy streets  » – have been rushed under emergency COVID-19 legislation to help social distancing and encouraging more people to walk and cycle to work

Initially, low-traffic neighborhoods were designed to reduce deadly air pollution and improve road safety – although reducing pollution will help reduce the risks the virus presents to people with chronic lung disease

An online petition to reverse route changes at Dulwich in particular has now garnered 2,540 signatures, while a counter-petition to keep them in place has been signed – in a shorter period of time – by 36

These numbers aren’t quite a representative snapshot of numbers for or against the program – which received around 10,000 comments when it was viewed earlier in the year, in part because the response was much higher. complicated

There are roughly three camps Those who are totally against – like business leaders like Mark Lynne of Lynne’s Electrical of Walworth Road, who says trading becomes impossible

Then there are those who are overwhelmingly supportive, who believe it is high time that Southwark Council took bold action to tip the scales on our streets away from motorists

They include clean air activists and several schools supporting the measures – and many cyclists rightly concerned about road safety

Dulwich College has said an unprecedented number of its staff and students are now commuting to school on bicycles or scooters and, although it cannot attribute this solely to changes in route, a spokesperson said they were « delighted with initiatives that provide better security opportunities. travel for students from all local schools « 

In the middle are those, like a number of companies we polled last week, based in Melbourne Grove – including the owner of Fashion Conscious – who want to see positive change but oppose the schedule of program, its implementation and monitoring

Air pollution activist Rosamund Kissi-Debrah is one of those to question the effectiveness of the program

She is part of a diverse body of groups of Borough residents and local politicians, including One Dulwich and local MP Neil Coyle, to point out that while the overall traffic level is not declining, there is a very real possibility of major roads – including those with social housing – will see increased pollution

Ms Kissi-Debrah’s daughter Ella died in 2013 at the age of nine from chronic and severe asthma

A new investigation into his death and whether the high pollution levels at their South Circular Road home near Forest Hill are expected to take place before the end of the year

Ms Kissi-Debrah believes the program is fundamentally uneven as it mainly creates car-free streets and blocked arteries – which often house large numbers of the poorest residents along them

Councils that have implemented similar programs across London seem to be hoping that traffic will decrease as people ditch cars for shorter trips

The petition to keep road closures in place in Dulwich Village describes the outcry as a « small backlash against the extremely sensitive road changes … most of them are time-limited during rush hour »And car owners are a minority in the borough

Meanwhile, the petition to remove the changes calls on council to reverse all closures in areas SE22 and SE24

He says: « While the lucky ‘few’ living on the newly closed streets now enjoy unpolluted air, the ‘many’ living on the other streets who experience the considerable additional burden of traffic are more polluted. that ever and suffering is greatly increased congestion at different times of the day « 

Its authors note that « alongside the roll-out of these road closures, no new investment in local public transport has been announced … in fact, bus services have been cut »

The group asks to wait until the full deployment of ULEZ is complete before considering other measures – without prioritizing some routes over others

One idea worth dusting off is the reconstruction of London’s tram network Last week, Melbourne Grove trader Lianne Ludlow said she believed a pledge to be put in place new tram lines and improved bus services would help keep action on climate and air pollution ‘in the right direction’ in a way that would not shock already struggling traders

A group of Melbourne Grove business owners – their biggest concern with LEN is its implementation and timing (c) Sebastian Garraway

A « Southwark Supertram » first came to the agenda in 2012 after a private company said it could deliver the project within two years – again putting pressure on the board by 2019

Last week, Southwark Council held its postponed climate emergency conference – and heard comments and ideas from activists and groups across the borough on how it can meet its carbon neutral goal by 2030 The upcoming plans will certainly be among the Council’s most eagerly awaited – and an opportunity to find common ground

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World News - GB - LEN from Southwark: Community response to new traffic measures is more complicated than just "for" or " against "- Southwark News


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